We never dreamed we would hear our RV window explode into a million tiny pieces, but that’s exactly what happened one night at an RV park in Texas.
The next few months were agonizing as we tried to secure a replacement side window.
If you’re presently staring at a spontaneously shattered RV window, I hope that our experience will help minimize your pain.
Imagine waking up to this.
How to Deal with a Shattered RV Window
We have no idea why the side window exploded. While we silently slept, our dog started pacing and whining as the odd cracking and popping sounds grew louder.
When we finally awoke and turned on the lights, we were stunned to see a spider-web effect across the entire piece of glass.
We had to think fast before it exploded over our dinette. Here’s what we did:
- We grabbed a garbage bag
- Next we carefully duct taped the garbage bag to the entire window frame. This kept the glass from coming inside our rig.
The next day we inspected the RV exterior for signs of malicious mischief. We spotted one tiny dent in the window frame that may or may not have been caused by kids throwing rocks around the park the previous afternoon.
Nobody knows why RV windows spontaneously shatter, but it happens quite often. Some RVers say that high heat can cause windows to explode, others blame stress fractures on the rig, but nobody seems to have a solid reason why.
Unruly kids or not, we had to deal with the ramifications of traveling with our shattered RV window.
Here’s what we learned:
- Glass usually isn’t covered under extended RV warranty plans. Apparently it’s common practice for extended RV warranty companies to exclude glass breakage from their policies.
- Your RV insurance policy should pay for the damage – if you have full “comprehensive” insurance coverage that pays for physical damage to the RV. We were told by our company that as long as the incident didn’t happen while the RV was moving, our rates wouldn’t go up. They were correct.
Do you have comprehensive insurance coverage?
Now for the fun part: putting in a temporary side window, then locating a replacement.
Here’s a step-by-step look at how we replaced the shattered RV window:
- Step 1: Purchase a sheet of plexiglass. For less than $35, we found our temporary window at the hardware store. Of course, don’t go this cheapskate route if your RV windshield exploded – stop here and go see a professional, now!
- Step 2: Take accurate measurements for the plexiglass RV window. Here’s a list of resources we used to get the window measurements, which would also serve us well when working with an RV glass company for the real deal:
Does your shattered RV window have curved corners?
Pay careful attention when you measure the rounded corners of your window, they can be tricky!
- Step 3: Cut the plexiglass. After following these directions to measure our shattered RV window, we watched this YouTube video before cutting the plexiglass.
- Step 4: Install the plexiglass. Watch this DIY video about installing the plexiglass replacement:
Search for a Replacement Side Window
If your RV is more than a year or two old, you may find it difficult to get a replacement from the manufacturer. Our Arctic Fox fifth wheel by Northwood was just seven years old but tracking down the exact replacement was impossible.
We finally discovered a replacement option at RV Glass Solutions. They were about to do the job for us when we traded in the RV for a newer rig – plexiglass window and all!
The biggest lesson we learned through this ordeal was patience: as full-time RVers we encountered many obstacles trying to replace our shattered RV window while we were on the road.
If you’re not full-timing, you’ll probably have better luck than we did. Now get busy!